4 proven policies to boost retention rates

Investing in flexible IT policies could save large companies up to $350,000, and small businesses $22,000, on hiring costs each year, according to research

It found that flexible IT policies, such as allowing staff to bring their own devices to work, to work from home, and to use social media, are key to employee satisfaction.

In fact, people who are happy with their workplace IT are one-third less likely to leave their company than those who are unhappy.

“Our research shows a direct relationship for the first time between flexible IT policies and employee satisfaction and retention,” said Ric Simes, partner at Deloitte Access Economics, which conducted the research in conjunction with Google.

“Many people report that their home IT is better than that at work. They tend to rate their home technology as more user-friendly, up-to-date and faster. This trend has raised employee expectations of their workplace IT — especially among Gen Y and Gen Z workers.”

“The war for talent in the digital economy is not just about technology; it is about combining technology and HR systems to create workplace and cultural change”

The research found that employees are motivated by more than just perks and pay. Businesses with employees that were most satisfied with their IT policies had a few characteristics in common. They:

  • allowed people to bring their own devices to work
  • permitted access to social media while at work
  • let them work from home
  • encouraged them to use collaborative technology.

Satisfied employees reported having higher levels of collaboration, collaborating 28 per cent of the working week compared to only 12 per cent for non-satisfied employees.

“The war for talent in the digital economy is not just about technology; it is about combining technology and HR systems to create workplace and cultural change,” said Frank Farrall, national leader of Deloitte Digital.

The Connected Workplace – War for talent in the digital economy report found that 83 per cent of employees with access to flexible IT policies said they’re satisfied at work while only 62 per cent of employees that do not have access to flexible IT said they felt satisfied at work.

Furthermore, satisfied employees reported having higher levels of collaboration, collaborating 28 per cent of the working week with colleagues in the same office, country or internationally, compared to only 12 per cent among non-satisfied employees.

The report, which took in 526 employees as well as CIOs or senior IT managers from a number of large organisations, comes at a time when Australian and New Zealand business leaders are experiencing a shortage of skilled employees.

“For every 100 people retiring over the next five years, there are less than 125 people exiting education. This is the lowest ratio in Australia’s history and it’s stalling businesses innovation,” Simes said.

“According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2011 20 per cent of businesses reported the inability to find skilled workers within the labour market or within their company as a barrier to innovation.”